Your brand is a proxy for the value your business, school or non-profit provides to people or businesses who choose to work with it. Think about brands you know like McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz or Harvard University. Just the names of these organizations immediately bring to mind certain characteristics. You may choose to do business with a company simply based on the qualities associated with its brand.
A great example of an online brand that gets business simply by its brand reputation is Zappos! Zappos tagline is Powered by Service. Everything about the company is oriented towards ensuring that every customer has the absolute best service experience. From no-questions asked returns to online fitment guides and automatic shipping upgrades, the company has defined its brand promise as taking the risk out of purchasing shoes online. As a result consumers buy from Zappos! without even looking at other retailers because it's just so easy to have a great experience with Zappos! In the absence of other information, people will make decisions based on a brand. Brand-based buying decisions are especially common when decisions are made in haste and with the increasing number of buying choices made from mobile phones, building and managing brand value is an increasingly important part of successful inbound marketing.
Just as brands can create positive, attractive reactions in people, a brand can also evoke negative reactions. The US congress presently has a brand reputation that tracks in the 11% favorable range – and everyone seems to have an opinion about how they can improve their reputation! Branding helps people know your business, school or non-profit and easily choose to engage with you when they need the qualities that your brand represents.
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